Beautiful

Written by: Stacy McAnulty

Illustrated by: Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

For Ages: 5-6 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Self-Expression, Individuality, Self-Acceptance, Inclusiveness.

Summary: This book takes the stereotypes fed to women and young girls through the media and turns them on their head with illustrations. Suddenly, “smiling sweetly” means enjoying sticky orange slices with friends rather than anything else! This book shows a diverse cast of young girls having fun outdoors, playing sports, and playing instruments for their community.

This book is fantastic. It shows girls catching frogs and planting flowers, covered in mud. It takes a statement about makeup and shows a group of friends dressed as pirates! An important part of any book collection that emphasizes kindness, individuality, and strong girls.

Reflection Questions:

  • What activities that are in the book are ones you do with your friends?
  • Do you think some people believe that girls can’t do things like play in the dirt or climb trees?
  • What would you say to someone that tells you what you should do based on if you’re a boy or girl?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Have a conversation about what it means to be “beautiful”, and make a list of different things some people might not consider beautiful. This can be tangible or intangible: kindness, healthy plants, a compost pile, etc.
  • Pick an activity featured in the book that you’ve never done, and try it! Did you meet any new friends? Would you try this activity again? If not, that’s ok! It’s very brave to try something new.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

stacy mcanultyStacy McAnulty is a children’s book author, who used to be a mechanical engineer, who’s also qualified to be a dog therapist (is that a thing???), a correspondent for The Daily Show (why not), and a Green Bay Packer coach (totally!). She has written dozens of books including her debut middle-grade novel, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl , a Junior Library Guild Selection, and the 2017 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor book Excellent Ed, illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach. Her other picture books include Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years, illustrated by David Litchfield; Max Explains Everything: Grocery Store Expert, illustrated by Deborah Hocking, Brave and Beautiful, both illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff; Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite, illustrated by Edward Hemingway; and 101 Reasons Why I’m Not Taking a Bath, illustrated by Joy Ang. She’s also authored the chapter book series Goldie Blox, based on the award-winning toys, and The Dino Files. When not writing, Stacy likes to listen to NPR, bake triple-chocolate cupcakes, and eat triple-chocolate cupcakes. Originally from upstate NY, she now lives in Kernersville, NC with her 3 kids, 3 dogs, and 1 husband.

joanne lew vriethoffJoanne Lew-Vriethoff was born in Malaysia and grew up in Los Angeles. After receiving her B.A in Illustration from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, she worked in the television industry as a character and concept illustrator for clients pitching children’s television shows.  She later moved to New York and trained as a graphic designer at a Design Studio working with various clients such as Columbia University, New School, and IJDG in NYC. Moving to Amsterdam gave her the opportunity to get back into making art again.  Many of her illustrations have themes of childhood nostalgia, humor, mischievousness, loneliness, love, social interactions friendships with an added touch of magic.. Her first published book, a Dutch poetry book set her on the path to becoming a children’s book illustrator.  Since then she has been illustrating picture books, middle grade novels, early readers, educational books, magazines,and for a toy branding company. Her favorite medium is pen and ink, mixed media. Joanne lives with her family in Amsterdam. Besides making art, she loves traveling and road trips with her husband and kids, photographing street art, cycling along the Amsterdam canals at midnight, snorkeling, day dreaming, collecting picture books.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s